In addition to the exposure, the winners for Best Film also received a distribution deal through Lucky Strike Productions. This was a wonderful opportunity for films of all genres and filmmakers of all backgrounds. This festival will truly be a home for indie filmmakers and a new voice for artists, which will allow for their talent to emerge. Traci Lynn Cowan and Ryder Davidson co-hosted the awards ceremony.
This innovative festival was founded by multi award-winning filmmaker Romane Simon. Asked why he created his own festival in addition to writing, directing and producing countless films and being a highly regarded author, Simon said, “it feels really good knowing that I created a platform for creative fellow filmmakers to showcase their work for a broad audience.”
It was also Simon’s birthday. “I couldn’t ask for a better birthday party. To be able to spend the day with talented fellow filmmakers while providing a platform for creative people to come under the same roof to celebrate art. The turnout was more than I ever hoped for! It was a great success. Love, laugh, live and follow your dream,” he added.
Simon, himself, has an interesting background as he was born and raised in Haiti. He moved many miles from home to the United States to continue and expand his dreams in the entertainment industry, by embarking upon several more projects. Simon currently works as a screenplay writer, actor, fight choreographer, stuntman, dancer, and even model. Simon is also a great MMA fighter with a record of 9-2-3. His most recent film Hybristophilia stars Quinton Aaron from the Blind Side, Sadie Katz from Wrong Turn 6, Jenna Willis from the People Vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story, Iyad Hajjaj from Madam Secretary and many others.
Here’s a list of winners from the festival:
Lifetime Achievement Award: Judi Evans
Best Docu Feature: Isis Crisis by Dr. Elham Madani, who was also awarded best female director
Best TV episode: Bad Pizza by Mark Schaefer
Best Animation: Sweet Tooth by Kelse Whitfield
Best Short Film Thriller: Strangers in a Book by Marc Rezvani
Best Drama Short Film: As We Say Goodbye by Jhosimar Vasquez
Best Action Short: Among Us by Joss Gomez
Achievement in Film: Robert Parham
Rising Stars: Carolyn Dupree, Brooklyn Robinson, Alexander Man, Lillian Lev, Jamie Bernadette
Achievement Award winners: Natalie Burn, Iyad Hajjaj, Stephanie Spruill, Shane Sparks, Bobbie Chance and Massi Furlan
Best Horror Slasher: Prey in Cold Blood by Alex T. Hwang
Entertainer Award: Sonia Harley
Achievement in Fitness: Traci Lynn Cowan
Media Award winners: Mark Sevier, Stephen Ingves, JP Beaulieu, Orlando Jose, Guillermo Proano, Shane Silvester, Roland de Guzman, Svetlana Krapivina, Ryan Nguyen, Cerdan Smith of cdaem, and HPC’s own Vida G!
More info about the festival at:
Photos courtesy of Mark Sevier and Ryan Nguyen